How we can Solve Primary Care and Public Emergency Department Overcrowding
Medical emergencies occur across the globe every second, hence the need for 24/7 operations in hospitals and ERs. The United States has been ranked highly for having exceptional medical care. Despite the reasonable efforts towards quality medical care, overcrowding is still a massive burden that faces many medical facilities across the U.S.
However, this does not have to be a problem as long as the concerned parties take the right measures. Following are some strategies that can be adopted to solve the problem of overcrowding in public and private hospitals.
Have Competent Administration.
Management is one of the critical factors in the performance of any institution. Poor leadership often leads to inadequate service provision while good leadership revolutionizes business.
As such, the first step should be ensuring that all hospitals have good leaders who are genuinely concerned about the patients’ welfare. The manager should be capable of coming up with a plan that frees up time and resources, hence reducing the number of people waiting in line for medical care.
In addition to being good planners, the leaders should also be capable of holding their employees in check. Although it is unfortunate, it is true that some doctors and nurses are arrogant and ignorant of their patients’ needs. They blatantly ignore patients, and some even skip shifts. In fact, incompetence in doctors and other staff members is one of the leading causes of delayed services and, consequently, overcrowding.
Increase The Staff.
Undoubtedly, there are more sick people than doctors and nurses can handle. In fact, many hospitals in rural areas face a shortage of professional physicians, and some have to settle for inexperienced medical professionals.
To this end, it is recommendable to hire more doctors and nurses to ease the burden on the current workforce. More doctors and nurses would cater to more patients and lessen the long queues. Hospitals should devise strategies that bring in unemployed doctors and nurses for better services. After all, it will be a win-win situation for all since it will lessen the current unemployment levels.
Educate the Public
Everyone believes that his/her health is of paramount importance. To this end, it is common to see people suffering from common illnesses such as cold queuing at the ER. While it is understandable, such practices only clog the system and burden the doctors with more work than they can handle. As such, it is necessary to educate the public about what constitutes an emergency, and what does not.
It would also help to inform the public about primary health care and first aid response. Mass education should notably be carried out in rural areas with a shortage of doctors as they not only experience overcrowding but also have to contend with poor healthcare services.
Reduce Healthcare Costs
While most public and cheap primary hospitals are usually overcrowded most of the time, many high-end hospitals handle moderate traffic flow. This gap is brought about by the high cost of healthcare.
Legal reforms are required to reduce costs in private hospitals and increase their accessibility to the public. This move will, in turn, alleviate crowding in public hospitals. For instance, most poor patients prefer visiting the ER regardless of the severity of their illness as ER centers are obligated by law to treat patients regardless of whether they can immediately pay or not.
As such, there is an urgent need to reduce the cost of healthcare. After all, healthcare is a necessity for both the rich and the poor. Unfortunately, the ongoing politics about health insurance in the U.S. may make matters worse for a majority of the poor people.
Build More Hospitals
More hospitals should be constructed to consequently increase the number of doctors and nurses that attend to patients. In fact, in some rural areas, the sick has to travel for miles to get to their nearest hospitals. As such, there is a dire need for more hospitals across the U.S.
The relevant authorities should embark on a project of building more public hospitals across the country – more consideration should be given to developing rural areas as well as populous cities as they are the most affected. The government should also offer incentives for the private sector to build more hospitals and have enough resources to equip them.
More hospitals will not only ease overcrowding but also create more employment opportunities, making it a win-win for medical practitioners and patients.
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